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Financial mistake in your favor, what would you do?

Recently, I was grocery shopping and had put a printer ink cartridge onto the conveyor belt. It was in one of those fancy lock boxes that the cashier needs to open at the register. She opened it and put it in the bag.

I asked if she had rung it in and she said, “Yup.” Okay.

I didn’t think she had, so was keeping an eye on the running total. Realizing it was low, I starting to think about how I would react if it was obvious (to me) that she hadn’t rung it up. I mean, I had brought the error to her attention by asking her if she had rung the item up. She acknowledged my question and said she had. Was that enough? Was it all on her? Was I going to walk away having saved $17.00 by her mistake?

As my items were finishing up and the total appeared, it was approximately $20 less than the total I had come up with in my running calculations. At this time, I had a choice to make. I could walk out with the extra cash, or point out the mistake.

Well, I figured if I was knowingly walking away with a free ink cartridge that was akin to stealing. I thought I’d give her one more chance to correct her error. If she, again, said she had rung it up, well… then it was on her. So, I spoke up.

I asked her to please check the receipt to be sure she had rung up the ink. She did and discovered her mistake. I then fished the cartridge out of one of the bags and she rung it up.

I pointed out to her the “I was in a Christian quandary, I could have walked out with a free ink cartridge, but I didn’t feel that was the appropriate action.” She replied, “Oh, you did the right thing.” Even though it had cost me $17.00, as it should have. I walked away with a clear conscience and a smile.

If you discovered a financial mistake in your favor, what would you do?
Doing the “right thing” might not always be the easiest thing, but it the best thing to bring a smile to your heart.

*Pam Horton is a Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach, in the Raleigh area.*

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